Alert Level 3 Information
Alert Level 3 - key information
- Council offices will be closed to the public with services available by phone or email. Call Council on 07 348 4199 or email email@example.com
- Most public facilities will be closed, including Rotorua Library, Rotorua Aquatic Centre, Energy Events Centre, Rotorua Stadium and iSite
- All playgrounds and sports facilities will be closed
- Park and reserve carparks that are large enough to accommodate social distancing protocols will be open
- The maintenance of parks and reserves will continue where it can be done within COVID-19 protocols
- Rotorua Landfill and recycling facilities are open in Alert Level 3. Please ensure you follow all health and safety guidelines and wear a mask at these sites. More information on this is below (under Rubbish and recycling)
- Building and other site inspections will resume with safe operating measures in place
- The library returns slots will be closed so you cannot return library books, however all loan periods will automatically be extended so you will not incur fines
Where can I find information about COVID-19?
The Ministry of Health is the agency leading the national response to COVID-19.
You can find information about COVID-19 and how to keep yourself and others safe at the Ministry of Health's dedicated website to COVID-19
If you would like to speak to someone on the phone about COVID-19 health advice and information, contact the Ministry of Health's Healthline team (free) on 0800 358 5453 or +64 9 358 5453 for international numbers.
***For information that is relevant to the Bay of Plenty and Lakes District Health Board areas, visit the BOP Health COVID-19 Response website.
Read the FAQs below for more information about Council services during Alert Level 3
Can I still come into the Council offices?
No. Under Alert Level 3 we will limit face-to-face interaction. Most Council services are available either by phone, email or by restricted appointment only. If you need to contact Council please call us on 07 348 4199 (24/7) or email firstname.lastname@example.org and a Customer Advisor will be able to help you.
What is Council doing to help Rotorua recover from COVID-19?
In March 2020, Rotorua Lakes Council agreed to adopt a strategy similar to the Government in response to combatting COVID-19: Rotorua's Build Back Better economic recovery plan, and has since gone on to develop our Draft Economic Development Strategy Framework.
Businesses or residents that are experiencing financial impacts from COVID-19 can contact Council to discuss their situation and establish alternative rate payment arrangements. Phone our Customer Centre on 07 348 4199 for more information.
If you have been unable to pay your rates please phone our Customer Centre on (07) 348 4199 to discuss this as soon as you can. Information on how to pay your rates is available HERE.
What happens with the water systems?
Water (Wastewater, Stormwater and Water Supply) will continue without change. Please note that we also ask that people do not flush wet wipes down the toilet as most wet wipes are not degradable and cause problems for the system and environment.
If you require assistance with anything in regards to your property please ring Rotorua Lakes Council's Customer Centre on 07 348 4199 and advise at the time of your call or email if anyone at a property is in isolation or at particular risk.
Rubbish and recycling
Is there any change to wheelie bin collection?
No, please continue to put your wheelie bins out at the kerbside (by 7.30am) on your regular collection day. Assisted collection will also continue.
What is currently happening with recycling?
Recyclables in the kerbside collection will continue to be recycled. Please continue to use your kerbside service as per normal, and put ONLY recycling in your yellow lid bin, and only glass in your blue crate.
Council are working with recycling operators to recycle as much of the recycling from Rotorua as possible. Many rubbish and recycling operators are making adjustments to their operations for the health and safety of staff and to comply with alert level restrictions. We will continue to work with recycling operators throughout the alert levels and will update the public if the situation changes.
How can I help the kerbside collection run smoothly for my household and the contractor?
- Ensure your bin lids are closed for collection and that your glass recycling crate or wheelie bins are not overfull. Overfull bins will not be collected.
- Where possible, park your car in the driveway or clear of the path of the rubbish collection truck.
- Please do not approach the collection truck operators during collection.
- Remove lids and bottle tops of your glass items before you put them in the blue crate for collection.
This will reduce the amount of times that the kerbside collection contractor needs to exit the collection truck.
If you have any questions about the kerbside collection, call 07 3484 199 to speak to one of Council's friendly operators.
I live in an area that doesn't use wheelie bins. What do I do with my rubbish?
Please contact Rotorua Lakes Council's Customer Centre on 07 348 4199 between 8am and 5pm. A Customer Advisor will provide you with rubbish disposal instructions.
Are the transfer stations open?
Yes, in Rotorua, transfer stations are open at their regular operating hours. For more information and to see each transfer station’s opening and manned hours, click here.
Will the Rotorua Recycling Centre be open?
Yes, in Alert Level 3 the Rotorua Recycling Centre (24 Te Ngae Road) is open to the public Monday - Saturday: 7.30am to 4.30pm, and Sunday: 9:30am - 4:30pm.
How will the Recycling Centre operate safely under Alert Level 3?
All people going onsite at the Recycling Centre must wear a mask, and scan the QR code or provide contact tracing details upon entry and stay two meters apart from others outside of your bubble. Only one person is able to exit the vehicle to unload recyclable items.
Is the Rotorua landfill open to the public?
Yes, both commercial operators and the public can access the landfill under Alert Level 3. Precautions will be in place to ensure the landfill can operate safely for staff and customers.
Will it take longer to get into the landfill?
Where possible, we ask that the public wait a few days after the landfill reopens to avoid forming queues and long wait times. We anticipate that there may be an initial increase in customer numbers in the first few days, however the waiting time at the landfill weighbridge will be no longer than during normal operations.
The Te Ngae Waste Management Transfer station at 6 Hamiora Place (corner of Te Ngae Road and Hamiora Place) is open to the public at Alert Level 3.
Will the Rotorua Landfill be open at normal hours?
Yes. Regular operating hours are 7.30am - 4.30pm Monday to Saturday, 9.30am - 4.30pm Sunday and Public Holidays.
Note: Vehicles are not permitted to go into the landfill from 4:25pm.
Can I pay in cash at the landfill kiosk?
No, cash payment will not be accepted. Only payWave/EFTPOS and account transactions will be accepted.
How will the landfill kiosk operate safely?
All people going onsite to the Rotorua Landfill must wear a mask, and scan the QR code or provide contact tracing details upon entry., Kiosks will have Perspex screens in the windows and will only accept cashless payment. The EFTPOS machine will be cleaned before and after every payment using antibacterial spray or wipes. A camera has been installed at the kiosk to record the registration number of the vehicles for contact tracing, if needed.
How many people are allowed onsite per vehicle?
While there may be more than one person in the vehicle, only one person is permitted to exit the vehicle onsite to unload. This is to ensure there is enough room for two meters of social distancing, and helps to limit different 'bubbles' making contact with each other.
How will landfill staff operate around customers safely?
Operational staff will practice two metre social distancing at all times. Both the green waste drop-off area and refuse transfer shed will have defined separated zones for commercial operators and for the general public. These areas will be spaced apart to ensure customers have a minimum of two metre distance between each other during unloading.
Will someone be able to help me unload my rubbish at the landfill?
No. To ensure the landfill is operating safely under Alert Level 3 restrictions, staff will be practicing physical distancing and only one person per car will be permitted to exit the vehicle at the landfill site.
Will I be able to dispose of my green waste at the Rotorua Landfill?
Yes. Green waste disposal will be open.
Can I drop off my recycling at the landfill?
During Alert Level 3, all waste materials taken to the Rotorua Landfill, (including items that would usually be recyclable) will be treated as general waste.
However, the in-town Recycling Centre (24 Te Ngae Road) is open and you are able to drop off your recyclable items to be recycled, during their regular opening hours.
Will there be changes to parking services?
There is no requirement to pay for parking during Alert Level 3. Parking matters considered to be a safety risk should be directed to the Police as a Road Safety issue. Timeframes listed on any existing Infringement Notices (ie, to pay, dispute etc) remain as is.
In Alert Level 2, when parking in the CBD, customers will need to start paying for parking again. Free P60 parks remain down most of Tutanekai Street and on the outskirts of the CBD.
Will Animal Control services be available?
Animal control officers will be attending priority jobs only such as attacks, stock wandering on roads, and collecting dogs that have been found roaming and have been secured by a member of the public (roaming dogs will be impounded under Alert Level 3 rather than being returned home as they were under Alert Level 4). All other jobs will be followed up via phone. Officers that attend urgent jobs will be following strict guidelines such as asking screening questions and avoiding contact with people they deal with.
the pound be open to the public?
No. The Rotorua Pound is not open to the public. Any dogs remaining in the pound are being cared for. Under Alert Level 3, arrangements will be made for owners to collect impounded dogs in a contactless way. Animal Control staff will inform owners of this process.
Parks and recreation
Key recreation information:
- Public toilets will be closed during Alert Level 3
- All playgrounds and sports facilities, including Rotorua Stadium, will be closed during Alert Level 3
- Driving for recreation is permitted during Alert Level 3. Keep it to short distances only.
- Some carparks will open where physical distancing can occur easily and where it supports access to recreational activity. Others will remain closed. See the list below for more info
- Where possible staff will work from home with some staff returning to facilities to operate. All venues and public facilities will be closed.
- Get national information about recreation during Alert Level 3 HERE
Which carparks are open and closed?
Carparks where physical distancing can easily occur, and where it supports access to recreational activity, will be open during Alert Level 3. Carparks at locations, which may encourage further travel, gathering or use of play equipment or facilities, will be closed.
- Tikitapu opposite Top 10 and at lookout
- Long Mile Road
Carparks remaining closed:
- Hannah's Bay Reserve
- Puketāwhero Park
- Kuirau Park carpark
- Ray Boord Park
- Boyes Beach
- Manuka Crescent
- Butchers Pool
Will Waipa and Long Mile Road (Redwoods) carparks be open?
Waipa and Long Mile Road main access gates will be closed. Limited parking at the entrance to Long Mile Road and Waipa will be open. Limited parking supports the Government's directive to avoid large gatherings of people. We continue to encourage forest users to exercise safely and well within your ability.
What people need to know if they want to use the forest and other reserves:
- Do not meet up with others - stay in your bubble
- Wear a mask if you are able
- Stick to areas where you are able to easily stay two metres from anyone you may come across
- Be mindful of other users in public spaces
- Ride and exercise safely and within your ability
- Tell someone where you are going and take your mobile phone. Do not put yourself in a situation where you could be injured and require emergency help
Can I use playgrounds?
No, to stop the spread of COVID-19 the Government has directed all playgrounds must be closed during Alert Level 3. Council has taped around playgrounds and placed signage asking people to keep off the equipment. If you see people using these areas please report it to the police online at www.police.govt.nz/105support
Will Council be gardening and mowing reserves?
Council's contractors will focus on mowing, weed control and vegetation maintenance to bring our reserves back up to standard. They will also do safety repairs to assets (not playgrounds), hard surface maintenance and tree work with a focus on facilitating safe recreational enjoyment of our reserves and open spaces. Some garden work will be undertaken in the inner city too. All work will be undertaken to support community use under Level 3 restrictions and where the COVID-19 work practices and strict physical distancing can be observed.
Who can I call about noise control issues?
Council will respond to urgent matters however, to reduce the potential spread of COVID-19, staff will try to resolve matters by phone first. A response in person will typically be considered only in the event that multiple calls are received within an hour from different addresses.
It is important at this time that people respect their neighbours and consider the noise levels coming from their own properties. Please also take into consideration the safety of staff that are responding to call outs.
If you need to report a noise control issue please phone 07 348 4199 at the time that it is happening.
Are the buses still running?
Yes. If you do not have cold, flu or COVID-19 symptoms, you can use public transport for only the following reasons:
- accessing local services and businesses
- going to work or school for those who have to
- low-risk exercise in your local area
- visiting people in your bubble
- travelling to permitted gatherings.
Remember, any unnecessary travel may spread COVID-19.
- We recommend you do not use public transport if you are unwell.
- Always wear a face covering on public transport, unless you have an exemption.
Face covering exemptions for some people and services
- Practise good hygiene habits.
- Scan in or keep a record of which service you travel.
Please check www.baybus.co.nz for changes to bus timetables.
Help and assistance
Who do I call if I have a request for assistance?
- If you need financial assistance or support for accommodation you should call the Ministry of Social Development (MSD) on 0800 559 009.
- If you need emergency assistance for food and grocery items call The Salvation Army on 07-346 8113. Please note the Salvation Army foodbank only operates during business hours, Monday to Friday. The Salvation Army is being supported by MSD for food security during the COVID19 lockdown.
- For any other form of emergency support, call Rotorua Lakes Council on 07 348 4199 or email email@example.com and a friendly Customer Advisor will help you access welfare support from the Civil Defence and Emergency Management Welfare team; which is working in partnership with other local agencies such as the Te Arawa COVID-19 Hub.
Staying in Rotorua
I need help finding accommodation. Who can I call?
If you require assistance finding somewhere to stay please contact the Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment to help with temporary accommodation. You can register your details by calling 0508 754 163.
Is freedom camping still permitted in the District?
Travel will be restricted during Alert Level 3. Freedom campers or people travelling should not travel outside of the area where they are currently. Freedom Campers and people traveling within New Zealand should follow the Alert Level 3 guidelines. Council-owned campgrounds will be closed and people travelling in non-self-contained vehicles should seek alternative accommodation.
Self-contained vehicles can be used as accommodation. Self-contained vehicles have a toilet, water and waste facilities. Those using self-contained vehicles to self-isolate are strongly encouraged to stay at commercial camping sites, if available.
People seeking assistance with finding temporary accommodation for self-isolation should call the Temporary Accommodation Service on 0508 754 163.
What are the guidelines for accommodation providers?
The Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment has provided these guidelines for anyone working in the hospitality sector during COVID-19 Alert Level 3.
Are Council meetings still going ahead?
In Alert Level 3 Council meetings will continue to operate using virtual meetings. Elected members will continue to meet via Zoom, with meetings being livestreamed.
In line with Council's standard operating procedures a number of council forums may need to be held. These are not formal meetings, they are opportunities for elected members to get informed, ask questions, provide guidance to officers and provide input into emergency policy, plans and strategy. The outcomes of all forums will then be taken to a committee or council for a decision.
Building consents and inspections
Note: Pending building inspections, postponed due to Alert Level 4 restrictions, will be prioritised ahead of new inspection bookings. Bookings will be rescheduled in the previous order where possible. Council officers will make contact to reschedule booking times as soon as possible.
Can I book a building inspection?
Building Inspection will be available as an essential service in line with the government guidance.
Inspections will take slightly longer than usual to ensure that correct sanitation procedures are followed so please be patient and kind.
- When booking an inspection you will call the usual number 07 349 5646 and you will be asked a series of questions relating to your health and recent travel. Your contact details will be collected at this time. You will also be asked about your site protocols ie site register and who will be onsite at the time of inspection.
- When the inspector arrives the key questions will be repeated and, for tracing purposes, the contact on site and their phone number will be recorded.
- The inspector will use appropriate PPE and will require a two metre physical separation, both horizontally and vertically while on site. Plans must still be available on site.
In accordance with MBIE's guidance, some levels of self-certification are being explored for low-risk projects/inspection types or where a contractor has a proven track record. Decisions relating to this authorisation can be made by the Team Leader - Inspection after the inspection has been booked, in which case you will be notified.
Information relating to working at the current alert level can be found on the CHASNZ website
Important note: During COVID-19 lockdown, Rotorua Lakes Council has been accepting electronic lodgement of building consents through email. However, email has limitations on file size and some large applications have needed to be submitted over a series of five or six emails.
If your plans exceed 200MB in size, please email firstname.lastname@example.org stating your application is oversize.
We can then send a link where you can deposit your files directly to make the process a little easier.
What is happening with building consents?
The Consents Team is working remotely, processing existing consents and taking new consent applications. We will not be accepting physical applications as council offices will be closed during Alert Level 3. As Council does not yet have an online lodgement system, we will temporarily accept building consent applications through email.
You can email your building consent application to email@example.com
- Files must be in PDF or PDF/A format
- A minimum of 300 DPI
- In colour where possible
- Email is limited to 200MB in size so multiple emails may be required for large applications. (Bundle over trusted file transfer may be possible)
Attach separate files for the following:
- Application Form 2 and vetting checklist (refer to Applying for a building consent - Rotorua Lakes Council)
- Form 2A Memorandum from LBP - Certificate of design work
- Plans (Architectural plans to be separate from others i.e engineers, truss design)
- Specifications, Product appraisals, Product manuals, Re-site reports
- PS1, Engineering calculations, Engineered design
- Geotech Report
- Onsite Effluent Treatment Design - Schedule 5
- Fire Report
- Certificate for public use application
Emailed applications will continue to be vetted to ensure adequate information has been provided for assessment.
Despite accepting email applications, we are aware there may be unforeseen challenges with lodgement. Council is unable to guarantee a seamless application process but will do the best with what we have and will make adjustments where required.
We encourage those who are submitting email applications to contact us if you are unsure of the status of your application.
What is happening with RFI responses?
Our ability to process RFI responses will be severely limited. If the application is hard-copy, many consents awaiting responses to RFIs will be inaccessible by staff. We will only be able to process RFIs if the building consent was lodged via email.
Can I still lodge resource consent applications?
Yes but you will have to submit documents electronically. The Consents Team is working remotely, processing existing consents and taking new consent applications. Council is not able to accept physical applications as our offices will be closed during Alert Level 3. We will temporarily accept planning consent applications through email. All applications can be sent through to firstname.lastname@example.org
- Files must be in PDF or PDF/A format
- Email is limited to 200MB in size so multiple emails may be required for large applications.
Attach separate files for the following:
- Application forms and checklists
- Assessment of Environmental Effects (AEE)
- Individual supporting technical reports
- Plans (including survey plans)
What are the RMA processing timeframes?
We will be extending (doubling) all resource consenting timeframes during this period pursuant to section 37 of the RMA.
Is there still a Duty Planning Service?
The Duty Planning service will continue to operate remotely. The Duty Planner contact number is 07 348 4199.
Can I set up pre-application meetings?
There will be no pre-application face-to-face meetings at this time. We are still able to assess and provide comments on draft proposals, however this will be limited to email responses only.
What is happening with Resource Consent RFIs?
RFIs will continue to be processed provided that all responses are sent to the processing Planner via email.
Will site inspections take place?
Yes, in Alert Level 3 site inspections will resume. Please note that inspections will be undertaken independently by the processing planner, or engineer for 223/224c applications. This means that the applicant/consultant should not be on site and all gates/fences must be open and clear for access.
The processing planner/engineer will make contact prior to the visit to ensure the site visit can be carried out independently i.e. no face to face contact and no applicant/consultation on site.
During inspection bookings contact details will be collected for contract tracing purposes. A series of questions relating to your households health and recent travel may also be asked. The inspector will use appropriate PPE during their visit.
Land Information Memoranda (LIM)
Can I still request a LIM report?
Yes. Customers can order LIMs through the regular channels. Our online eservices' applications are open and this is the preferred method of application.
Food licensing enquiries
Please enquire about your specific circumstances to confirm whether food verification is applicable by phoning 07 348 4199.
Off licence remote liquor sales
Can I sell and deliver alcohol remotely?
Off-licence holders whose license enables them to sell and deliver alcohol remotely can do so through contactless delivery.
All requirements of the Sale and Supply of Alcohol Act, licence conditions/restrictions and requirements for remote sales apply. Limits on quantity of spirits sold is recommended.